Learning Something New Everyday
I know a lot of people who are proud of the fact that they haven’t attended a computer training class since the days of Windows 95. When I speak with these people, I remind them that there is a lot that can be learned in a formal training session, and they look at me incredulously. As a corporate trainer, I tend to take these kinds of comments (and incredulous looks) personally because I know just how much can be gained by attending even a short training session.
Some people are just resistant to change. For example, in a recent post, I mentioned the Office 2007/2010 Ribbon. If you have been avoiding learning anything new about technology since Windows 95, I could see why you might be hesitant to learn the new Ribbon. Another example was with Windows XP. There were countless people who disliked the Windows XP start menu, so they switched it back to the “Classic Menu.” (Does anyone still do that??) In contrast to these two examples, people who are continually learning new things tend to be more receptive to change.
I am one of those people. I try to learn something new everyday. This is especially true as it relates to computer technologies. It seems as if computer technologies are evolving faster than anything else on the planet! As such, I make a conscious effort to learn as much as I can about those changes–especially new features–everyday. Oftentimes, I accomplish this through some kind of formal training.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that many people do not attend formal training because of scheduling or budgeting constraints; however, those are not reasons to completely avoid learning new features in technology. Believe me, I cannot attend formal training everyday! Even so, there are still ways to learn something new everyday. For example, there are many well written books that are available for purchase at your local book stores. Low on cash? Search the Web for “New Features” in your favorite applications. Also, don’t forget that there are quite a few free Webinars available from many companies. My company, CAI, offers free Webinars (almost daily) throughout the year. For more information, take a look at http://www.itmpi.org/webinars. In fact, in just a little while, I’ll be attending a free Webinar on Best Practices in Scheduling Using Microsoft Project. Although I have been using and teaching Microsoft Project for years, I am always hopeful that I’ll learn some new nugget of information that will make the entire Webinar completely worth the hour of my time that it will take. So, it isn’t difficult to learn within the schedule and budget you have; you just have to be creative!
Oh! What have I learned already today? Are you familiar with the new Reliability Monitor in Windows 7? It’s a new tool that plots system events (e.g., successful and unsuccessful installations of drivers, application crashes, etc.) on a timeline. It’s a great tool for root cause analysis if you’re having trouble with your Windows 7 system. To launch the Reliability Monitor, use the Action Center or click the Start button and type perfmon /rel in the search box.
Take a look at it, and you might learn something new today, too!